How To Deter Raccoons From Your Yard {14 Easy Ways}

How To Deter Raccoons From Your Yard {14 Easy Ways}

Need to know how to keep raccoons away?

The best thing to do if you have a raccoon problem in your yard is to figure out how to get rid of them.

Raccoons are adorable and a lot of fun to watch. However, they can also pose a serious threat to your yard and you. You may avoid the burden of dealing with their route of damage by figuring out how to keep them out.

The 14 simple techniques in this tutorial can help you keep raccoons out of your yard.

Why do you need to deter raccoons?

1. They Build nests

Raccoons can reside anywhere, urban or rural. They will construct a nest pretty much anywhere that is warm, safe, and sheltered. That might refer to your deck, shed, trees, or, if they manage to gain entry, your home.

Building nests results in a large raccoon family that can wreak havoc in your yard.

2. Cause property damage

Raccoons that are searching for a place to nestle can quickly cause a lot of damage to your home. They have been known to shred insulation, take off shingles, tear down walls, and peel off the fascia.

3. Bad for health

Raccoons enjoy making lots of feces. The issue with raccoon droppings in your yard is that they are contaminated with bacteria and roundworms. It’s not good for the health of people or animals.

It is dangerous to clean up their waste on your own. To keep yourself safe, you’ll need a professional or to wear full safety gear.

Additionally, raccoons might be rabid, putting you or your pet in danger if they assault you in your yard.

4. Leave a mess

Raccoons are adept at leaving a path of devastation. That includes leaving trash lying around your yard, causing crop damage, bringing down birdfeeders, or making your yard smell bad from their feces and urine.

5. Cost you money

Raccoons will eventually cost you money if you let them go free in your yard. Whether it be for medical expenses, veterinary costs, restocking your bird feeder, yard cleanup, or pest control services.

The easiest method to avoid any of these issues is to try to keep them out of your yard in the first place.

The good news is that you can keep raccoons out of your yard in a variety of humane ways. For the best results, you’ll probably need to combine a few of these techniques, even though some of them might be effective on their own.

Let’s look at the approaches that will be most effective for you.

14 Ways to Deter Raccoons from Your Yard

14 Ways to Deter Raccoons from Your Yard

1. Use light and sound

Raccoons like to conduct their daily activities when it is quiet and dark because they are nocturnal animals.

That indicates that they are highly distrustful and readily startled by bright lights and odd noises.

Use security lights that are activated by motion around your yard to deter raccoons. The finest ones for this are big, colorful ones like these.

The plan is for the light to flash and scare them away as soon as they step into the sensor line.

This approach is straightforward because, aside from the initial installation of the light, it doesn’t require much work.

Some readers have had luck by turning on the radio close to typical target sites like trash cans or sundeck. The startling noises startle the raccoons.

Although it’s possible that your neighborhood neighbors won’t enjoy the radio playing all night in your yard.

2. Don’t leave out food

Food is the key factor that will draw raccoons to your yard.

Things you put outside for pets, like dog or cat bowls, are one of the simplest sources of food.

When the raccoons scent it, they will cheerfully eat everything before dawn.

Overnight, bring in any pet bowls, or start feeding your animals just inside.

If you’ve eaten outside with family or friends, don’t forget to clean up completely after yourself. The raccoon will come to your yard to investigate just based on the smell of food and cooking.

Raccoons can be deterred by cleaning up your dining area and giving it a quick once-over with an odor-removing cleaner.

3. Adjust your bird feeders

Raccoons will seize the chance to plunder whatever food supply you have accessible, as you’ll notice. This also applies to eating from your bird feeder.

Hanging your bird feeders on tall, thin poles is the simplest way to keep raccoons out of it. The raccoons find it more difficult to climb up as a result. You’re searching for a Shepard hook pole similar to this one if you don’t already have one.

Even better, you can include a raccoon baffle (this one will work on any existing feeder poles you have). The raccoon will be prevented from climbing or leaping onto your bird feeders by this mechanism.

It’s wise to evaluate the foods you’re giving the bird as well. It’s time to stop if you’re using a platform feeder for food leftovers. Stay with the tube-style feeder so the raccoons can’t get to it easily.

4. Plant things they hate

Planting specific objects that raccoons are known to hate is a wonderfully environmentally responsible method to keep them out of your yard.

Raccoons dislike being close to spiky plants in particular because of their extremely sensitive feet. The raccoons avoid these plants because they frequently have huge leaves and thorny vines.

Raccoons detest the following plants:

  • Cucumbers
  • Pumpkins
  • Asian poppies
  • Bur thistle
  • the beans

To make it difficult for them to enter and exit, you could wish to plant a row of these around your fences. Around vegetable patches, which raccoons would usually raid, is another location where these plants perform well.

5. Smell Deterrents

You can use raccoons’ keen sense of smell against them by presenting them with unpleasant odors.

There are plants people don’t enjoy the fragrance of, much like planting items they don’t like the feel of.

Raccoons dislike the smell of the following plants:

  • Peppermint
  • Garlic
  • Onion

Even if you don’t have enough space to plant these things, you can still use them to create a homemade raccoon deterrent. To deter raccoons, spray it all over your yard.

The problem with smell repellent is that it’s possible they’re not as good as other solutions. This is due to how frequently you will need to reapply them.

They are helpful, but you will probably need to combine them with other deterrent techniques. To permanently keep the raccoons away, use a mix of light, sound, and smell repellents.

6. Try Spices

Many spices irritate raccoons’ nostrils and interfere with their sense of smell, making them dislike them. Using this advice, you can scatter some common spices across the areas of your yard where you know raccoons are hiding.

Raccoons dislike the following spices:

  • Chili pepper
  • roasted pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • flakes of chili

Additionally, you may try applying some hot sauce on spots where raccoons frequently attempt to do damage, such as near windows, vents, or trash cans.

7. Spray predator urine

Spraying predator urine around your yard can deter raccoons.

Since coyotes are the principal predator of raccoons, using their pee is the simplest solution. On Amazon, this coyote urine is the most popular.

You can also use bobcat, wolf, bear, and mountain lion urine as sources of predator urine.

Having two different species is a fantastic idea because you can switch them out every few weeks. Raccoons won’t become acclimated to the smell and try their luck in your yard if you do this.

Human urine can also deter raccoons from visiting your yard. After a few days of spoilage, human pee begins to smell strongly of ammonia. Ammonia odors are repulsive to raccoons.

You can get a jar of ammonia or vinegar to use around your yard if you don’t want to go spraying your own or your family’s urine there. Compared to using predator urine, this is far less expensive.

The most effective technique to accomplish this is to bind rags made of cotton into balls that have been saturated with urine or ammonia and scatter them across your yard.

8. Lock up your garbage

Your garbage can is one of the simplest places for raccoons to get food in your yard.

Once they get it, they will make a terrible mess. Included in this are bags that have been torn apart and food packing that is all over your yard.

Until trash pickup day, keep your garbage can locked up in a secure location. This will stop them from accessing it.

If that’s not possible, you’ll need to find a technique to stop the raccoons from opening the garbage can lid.

Using a strap is one of the simplest methods to accomplish this (the strong strap brand is highly recommended)

Using an outdoor garbage can storage container (like this) that the raccoons can’t get is another approach to get around this.

9. Cover water sources

Raccoons are drawn to places containing both food and water. This allows them to wash their food before consuming it.

Raccoons enjoy dipping their food because it provides sensory information to their paws about what they are consuming.

Pet water bowls, overturned pots, garbage can lids, ponds, or even birdbaths are examples of simple sources of water that you might have in your yard.

When the raccoons are most active at night, try to get rid of any of these water sources if you can.

If you can’t, cover the water source to keep raccoons from easily accessing it and dipping their food. This is the best option for pools and birdbaths that are difficult to move.

Why do you need to deter raccoons?

10. Close any access points

If a raccoon is making a den in your yard, you must wait until the mother transfers her young.

Raccoons routinely do this while nesting. Close off any entrances to the den once you’re certain the raccoon and her young have left. If you don’t, additional raccoons will move in and create new dens.

When you start to try to keep females out of your yard, they frequently transfer their cubs along. Moving every cub, however, may take two to three days. Thunderstorms, barking dogs, and other external disturbances can quickly halt the process.

Be as patient as you can because the female won’t move till dark.

Before you seal off the den, be certain that all cubs have been taken out. When a mother raccoon tries to get to her last cub, she will cause significant damage to your property.

11. Use Electronic Devices

Raccoons can be kept out of your yard in a humane manner by using an electronic repellent.

There are various ways that these gadgets can operate. This involves making loud noises, flashing lights, predator noises, or water sprays that are triggered by movement. Here are some of the most well-known brands available for purchase.

Making your yard uninviting will prevent raccoons from visiting, even to look for food.

The cost of these gadgets is extremely low, and some are even solar-powered. That implies that you don’t need to worry about turning it on; just set it out in your yard and watch it do its thing.

12. Sprinkle Epsom salts

Raccoons might be deterred from your yard by scattering Epsom salts throughout it. On Amazon, you can get large tubs of Epsom salts for a terrific price.

Raccoons are not only repulsive to the taste and smell, but they also make excellent soil fertilizer.

Additionally, you can scatter Epsom salts in your year’s high-raccoon-traffic areas. The ideal location is close to fences, access points, vegetable gardens, bird feeders, and trash cans.

Epsom salts may require some effort to keep raccoons away because they dissolve anytime it rains. This implies that in order for them to be effective against the raccoons, you will need to reapply frequently.

13. Clean up

One of the greatest methods to keep raccoons out of your yard is to keep it well-maintained.

Try to limit the amount of food odors in your yard. To do this, clear away any leftover food from outdoor meals, pick up any fruit that has fallen from trees, and clean the garbage cans.

June bug grubs won’t be able to spawn in your grass even with a well-kept lawn. Raccoons enjoy digging these up and ruining your vegetation.

14. Use plastic sheets

You might be surprised to learn that raccoons prefer to avoid walking on plastic surfaces.

The sensitivity of their paws is the cause.

To make it difficult for the raccoons to travel around freely, lay strips of plastic painter’s sheets around your yard.

A scat mat (like this one) can be used in its place if you don’t like the idea of a big sheet of plastic covering your soil. It is essentially just a roll of gentle spikes that will hinder raccoon movement without actually hurting them. These sheets are simple to erect and move around your yard as necessary.

Removing raccoons

You may have noticed that professional raccoon removal services or trapping aren’t included on this list.

This is thus even while these methods are effective at getting rid of specific raccoons, they aren’t very effective at keeping them away.

The truth is that if one raccoon is drawn to your yard, chances are that others will be as well.

Individual raccoon trapping and removal is a reactive rather than proactive method. A relocated raccoon is likely to pass quite rapidly there.

The goal is to make your yard a difficult place for raccoons to find food or look for a place to create a den. By doing this, you can prevent raccoons from entering your yard in the first place and avoid having to pay to have them removed.


What animal is raccoons scared of?

Similar to any other prey and predator connection, raccoons and their predators have a bond. Animals that are their natural predators are avoided by raccoons. These predators come in the form of bobcats, coyotes, and great horned owls.

Is there a smell raccoons hate?

A strategically placed flashlight can serve as a deterrent because raccoons like the darkness. Playing a little radio might help deter them since they’re also scared of unexpected noises. Finally, since raccoons detest the scent of ammonia, place a saucer full of it (or a rag drenched in ammonia) close to their entryway.

What are raccoons afraid of?

Cayenne pepper spray is a simple and reliable raccoon repellant since raccoons dislike spicy scents. Shake well before adding a small bottle of cayenne pepper and a bottle of spicy sauce to a gallon of water. Around your plants, bushes, and other garden plants, mist this pepper solution.

What scent will keep raccoons away?

Raccoons have a keen sense of smell, which they use to locate nearby food sources. By utilizing fragrances that they dislike, one can take advantage of this ability. Raccoons can be deterred by the aromas of hot pepper, garlic, peppermint oil, onion, and Epsom salt, among other things.

Are raccoons afraid of coyotes?

According to Chris Moorman, a professor and temporary associate head of the North Carolina State University Department, “raccoons do not seem to be vigilant toward coyotes when they are caught on camera, and their activity patterns overlap, all of which indicates that coyotes are not depredating, meaning they are not eating them.”

Final thoughts

The best way to deter raccoons is to use gentle techniques to keep them at bay.

This involves employing organic techniques that irritate the raccoons. Instead of hurting them, it just makes your yard uncomfortable for them. See my suggestion for the top raccoon deterrents.

All of these techniques need very little maintenance work and are very simple to use.

To achieve the greatest results, I advise combining many techniques.

Simply said, attempt to limit their access to the three things that draw them in the most: food, water, and shelter. Then introduce them to unpleasant odors, tastes, sensations, images, and sounds.

I promise that if you use these frequently, raccoons won’t be a problem in your yard for long.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author